The New York Giants drafted Xavier McKinney to be their safety of the future, and it looks like that’s what they’re getting out of the rookie from the same college program that not too long ago produced Landon Collins. With Antoine Bethea gone from the safety position it looks like McKinney is going to move right into his former spot next to Jabrill Peppers, which likely dismisses the chances of second year player Julian Love getting the spot instead.
Love was previously the favorite to take up a starting spot at safety, before the Draft changed things by introducing a new player to the competition. Mainly, this was because of Love breaking out in the second half of the 2019 season to get more playing time and impress coaches – he had five starts last season as a rookie, with an interception and 37 tackles and one fumble forced. In addition, five of those tackles were for a loss.
While it looks like McKinney is going to be the starter out of the two, those contributions are still enough for Love to land an important role this season.
“Julian has a great skill set. He can play corner, he can play in the slot and he can play back deep as a safety,” said head coach Joe Judge about the situation, on Friday. “We are going to use him as we need by each game plan. He may be an every-down safety, he may be an-every down corner.”
With safety addressed, it seems like corner is a bigger need for the Giants secondary right now, even if they did find their main man at the spot with James Bradberry.
“Nothing has been decided in terms of positions that will go into a depth chart at this point and nothing has been decided in how we are going to use guys by game plan. That will change week to week. We believe we have enough skillsets that it will give us flexibility within our packages,” continued Judge.
Considering how the Giants under Joe Judge haven’t even acknowledged Daniel Jones as the starter at quarterback yet, it makes sense that the winner of the position battle at safety won’t be announced anytime soon. If there is an official decision made publicly, it will likely be after the Giants are able to get back to training in-person, and the staff is given a chance to work with these new players in a more hands on way.